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Comment Re:There needs to be a very detail visual 4D sim (Score 1) 101

The length is relevant because all of that dust, seen straight on, blocks a lot of light

Right, I see. I was thinking you meant that the huge length, seen lengthwise, would block a lot of light just because of the sheer length, but this makes more sense since lengthwise it wouldn't be that dense.

How about the other poster's brown dwarf idea? Could this be caused by a brown dwarf in orbit around the star? Those things can get really big. Effectively, it'd be a multi-star system. Or do brown dwarves emit enough light (probably in IR) to still be seen? And why is my stupid spell-checker telling me that "dwarves" is misspelled?

Comment Re:There needs to be a very detail visual 4D sim (Score 1) 101

Yeah, but isn't the length of the tail irrelevant, because the tail would be pointed directly towards Earth (since it's blown by the stellar wind from the star, and the presumed comet is directly between that star and Earth)? I thought comet tails always pointed directly away from their star.

Comment Re:This is how it begins (Score 1) 207

We have elections because they are meaningless. Show me one country where there is a party that actually has a chance to become part of a government that would change the status quo.

Show me a single democratic country where the voters agree which way the status quo should be changed. It seems to me that status quo rarely changes a lot in a single election because it already reflects a decent compromise between the interests of various people, organizations and ideals that make up a nation.

It's not the mirror's fault that what it reveals leaves a lot to be desired.

Comment Re:unpossible software hack? (Score 1) 241

No, not really. They didn't pay for any software at all; that's the whole problem. They paid for a service. If they paid for some software, they could just stick with what they have instead of pissing off users by divulging their identities when the users had never agreed to that before, at least until they could get the software made so that old comments used the pseudonyms while newer comments switched to the new policy.

Instead, they bought a service which apparently doesn't offer this ability. I don't know if there's a legal case to be made here, but it seems to me that their website had a policy before where people could make posts anonymously (or pseudonymously), and now they're changing to a real-name policy. That would be OK, except they're making it retroactive, which is certainly wrong ethically, and quite possibly legally, depending on the wording of their prior user agreement policy. You can't just go change agreements like that retroactively. And the fact that the SaaS vendor doesn't support this is no excuse. Either they need to switch to a new vendor, get the vendor to change, or eliminate the service (and comment section) altogether.

Comment Re:There needs to be a very detail visual 4D sim (Score 1) 101

Well again, given that a gas giant can only block 1-2%, this would have to be a really friggin' huge comet, right? A comet bigger than Jupiter? That doesn't sound likely. Sure, the tail might help, but still comet tails don't block light the way a planet does, they're just a collection of dust.

Comment Re:unpossible software hack? (Score 1) 241

Now you're talking about absurd and unaffordable amounts of money. Can you imagine how much money you'd need to pay Microsoft to make a custom version of Windows 10 for you without Metro? It's just not something they want to do. They might not even do it for any amount of money, unless you buy out the company outright, because it goes directly against their corporate vision.

With FOSS, this isn't a problem; there's always someone willing to do the work for you. And you don't have to buy out the original company to get what you want.

Comment Re:There needs to be a very detail visual 4D sim (Score 1) 101

The thing I don't get is how comets could possibly block 20% of the star's output. From what I remember, some astronomer said that if there were a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting the star, that would only block 1% of the star's output. If a Jupiter-sized planet would only block 1%, how the heck would some comets block 20 times more?

Comment Re:unpossible software hack? (Score 0) 241

If it's possible to do with "free" (open) software, it's possible to do with proprietary.

Absolutely wrong.

If it's proprietary, and you ask the vendor to make a change, and they say "no", then you're out of luck. They have total control over the software, so if they refuse, even with you waving money in front of their noses, there's nothing you can do. Proprietary companies frequently refuse to do custom work or listen to customer feedback, because they're selling to lots of people and don't want to deviate from their corporate direction or invest the resources necessary to please a single customer.

With open-source/Free software, you don't have this problem. You have access to the source code, so worst case, you can hire someone to make custom changes for you. It probably won't be that cheap to get a freelancer or some small software house to do it for you, since they're working with unfamiliar code, but it's better than nothing.

Comment Re:This is *SO* unethical ! (Score 1) 241

Clauses in legally binding agreements that grant one party the ability to unilaterally change the terms of those agreements are illegal in most places where the rule of law has any meaning. That's one of the reasons almost every contractual agreement, of which EULAs are one kind, have a clause that says if any of the terms are illegal they are void.

Comment Re:unpossible software hack? (Score 1, Insightful) 241

If you give them enough money, they'll do whatever you want. The question is only of the relative cost. Getting something custom done in open source is sometimes a matter of asking and waiting, or of paying a developer to do it for you. Getting something done in closed source might be a matter of filing a request under your support agreement, or it might mean a very expensive contract.

Comment Re:Easy solution - COSTCO does it better (Score 1) 470

Real estate prices are ridiculous everywhere these days, unless you live in some backwater where there's no employment. Cheap real estate isn't of much use if you're unemployed, unless you're retired.

As for rain, you sound like you've never been to northern California. How do you think all those forests grow? The pictures I've seen of Florida only show palm trees, same as southern California.

The hardest part of climbing the ladder of success is getting through the crowd at the bottom.